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Jul 17, 2007 10:33 AM

Cheap Oysters in Boston?

I'm going to be in town around the beginning of oyster season this year and looking for a place to indulge without breaking the bank. Any ideas of a place to go for cheap oysters on a half shell?

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  1. 28 Degrees, a lounge in the South End, does $1 Island Creeks (a nice, clean, mildly briny local oyster from Duxbury, MA) from 5 to 7 on weekdays.

    The drinks aren't bad so long as you stick to their cocktail list (it's risky asking some of the green staffers to venture beyond it), and there are a few interesting wines by the glass. They had a nice falanghina, if I remember correctly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wittlejosh

      The $1 Island Creeks are offered from 5-7pm everynight they are open (Tuesday-Sunday..they are closed on Mondays). It is definitely a great deal.

      28 Degrees
      1 Appleton St., Boston, MA 02116

    2. Also M&S at Park Plaza (not Theater District). More info:

      Striperguy turned hounds onto a deal at Shangri-la, but that is for fried oysters. Chinatown for oysters with black bean sauce, slightly steamed though.

      Several of the chinese all you can eat buffets have oysters (Jin and Hudson/Marlboro seafood buffets), but unfortunately they are washed and not at all briny (some hounds have speculated frozen pre-shucked oysters and they are sometimes sold too cold, although I have found pieces of shell in the oysters


      Older school Italian and Portuguese restaurants usually have little neck on the half shell deals.

      East Coast Grill and Neptune for best selection, but a bit more pricey.
      Anybody know if the Wellfleet Oyster man will be back to farmer's markets this year? Or any fishmongers that are particularly strong for oysters? (Captain Boston usually has some tasty West Coast Oysters, but no selection and a bit pricey. Courthouse usually has oversized oysters, but also no selection.)

      5 Replies
      1. re: itaunas

        Large oysters are great for the grill. How big are you talking about? Where exactly can I find them?

        1. re: LStaff

          The largest Oysters I received recently were from Courthouse Seafood back around April/May and they were truly massive. However, recently they were a bit smaller and the ones from Captain Boston (Main St on Medford) were a bit larger but not as much so as the original. I did grill the Captain Boston oysters, as well as eating some on the half shell. Courthouse you could easily ask over the phone, Captain Boston (Korean market) would probably require a visit because of language barrier.

          steinpilz asked below about Haymarket. In past years not only were oysters available, but in the last couple there was someone shucking them at one of the stands (odd because fishmongers cannot shuck and serve oysters on the half shell). I have only been a couple of times this year and not only have I not seen the shucker, but the fish stands have not been around.

          1. re: itaunas

            The shucker is only allowed to be open up to a certain date..closes for the summer. I like the clams..3 for $2. I never cared for oysters and don't think he had them this year.

            1. re: 9lives

              same with the fish sellers. recent regulations from being open in the summer. probably not a bad thing. oof, the smell used to be terrible.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                No kidding! Having a beer at Pete's Pub was like being Jonah in the belly of a whale.

      2. I second the recommendation for 28 degrees. Do try to arrive early, though as the bar tends to fill up and become a bit of a scene toward the end of the oyster special.

        1 Reply
        1. re: musteat

          I'll third the 28 Degrees rec. It's lovely to sit outside on a hot day and sip frozen Bellinis and guzzle oysters.

        2. Unless a lot of food, I have no problem paying a premium for great oysters. I happen to love Neptune Oyster in the North End (had some astonishing Conway Cups there at lunch the other day). Oh, and the grilled calamari fra diavlo which was outstanding. Although the bartender/shucker/waitress couldn't get the chef to tell me what type of chili was in the dish....

          1. McCormack & Schmick's has a $1 oyster night--I think every Monday or Tuesday. They offer 3 or 4 kinds during happy hour at the Park Plaza location. Worth it. Also they offer a $1.95 appetizer during happy hour as well.

            4 Replies
            1. re: BillieJean

              if its monday, i bet they are oysters from Friday and Saturday they did not sell, because i doubt there are deliveries on sundays.

              1. re: jpeso

                there are fish companies that deliver on sundays. bivalves stored properly can safely keep a week, especially with the powerful commercial refrigerators in restaurants.

                as much as my heart belongs to neptune, a chilled glass of white wine and a dozen oysters for under 20 bucks is never a bad thing.

              2. re: BillieJean

                I have been unimpressed with the quality of the oysters at McCormack and Schmicks.

                1. re: musteat

                  The special is on Tuesdays. I expect they get deliveries quite regularly during the week but not sure about Sundays. I have never had a problem with the freshness of the oysters at Boston or other m&s locations. I'm not a fan of the atmosphere, but I don't really care if sitting at the bar drinking a few beers and enjoying a dozen or so oysters for a total of around $20.